Section Nine: Baby Steps, UB's Division III History (or Robert Ketter, Shaking up UB Football)
Section 9: Ketter, Sample, and Dando bring UB football back...
Ketter was a vocal advocate of bringing college football back to Buffalo and, along with the support of other students and faculty, he led the university to restart the football program in 1977. UB was stuck in division three because, at the time, SUNY would not allow its member institutions to offer athletic scholarships.
Bill Dando was brought on to help resurrect the UB football program. Dando played college ball for the defunct University of San Francisco football team. Dando was part of the famous undefeated 1951 Dons. In a move that 58 Bulls would mirror the SFU turned down a bid to the Fiesta (edit) Orange Bowl when they learned that their African American Players would not be allowed to play. This move was an effective pass on the only financial means they had to field a team, the 51 dons went out together as USF no longer had the resources to support the team..
The fist African American Official, and future NFL Commissioner
The Bulls would struggle out of the gate not win a game their first season and did not notch a winning season for several years but they did make their first game, of the modern era, an exciting one.
RIT fumbled the opening kickoff and the Bulls recovered the ball on the RIT 41. On the first play from scrimmage in Mark Gabriel ran off tackle for a touchdown and a 7-0 lead for the Bulls. RIT would score to tie the game. The rain eventually became monsoon like. UB's only other scoring chance of the day fell short when Rich Phillips slipped while attempting a filed goal late in the second half. The tie was the highlight of a season in which the Bulls went 0-3-1. UB losses that season came at the hands of Canisius, Brockport and the Coast Guard Academy
The following season, 1978, was the first full slate of games since the Bulls dropped football. The team would go 3-6 by knocking off Albany, Brockport, and Canisius. The team went into the last three games of the season 3-3 before dropping close games to Rochester, the Coast Guard Academy, and Alfred. UB followed up with a 4-5 record before they would land their first winning season since 1969.
On the filed UB's teams were beginning to improve. In 1980, just UB's third complete season the Bulls put up a 6-5 record. During the "Run To Division One" campaign UB would put up seasons of 6-5, 6-5, 5-5, 8-2 and 6-4. Like most Division III schools most of the competition UB faced in these days was local.
Quarterback Marty Barrett led the Bulls during much of the early 80's. From 1981 to 1983 Barrett established himself as one of the more accomplished quarterbacks in Bulls history (albeit at the division three level). Barret set career records for 200 yard games, touchdowns, yards, completions, total offense, total touchdowns. Most of his career records were knocked down by Drew Willy and/or Chad Sailsburry but his single season mark for yards per pass (8.1 ypa set in 1981) still stands.
Marty Barrett's Career Numbers
Barret was honored twice (81, 83) as both an ECAC All Star and garnered an AP Small College Honorable Mention.
In 1984 the SUNY Trustees rejected of a resolution in 1984 ( by an eight to two vote) which would have granted power to individual campuses to upgrade their intercollegiate athletic programs. Once again UB sports was being suffocated by SUNY administrators in Albany.
Moving football to the main undergraduate hub of the University was an attempt to further get students behind the move to division one. With this in motion President Sample turned his attention to changing the mind of the SUNY trustees.
The plan created by the committee was part of a hard push put on by local politicians. When the local delegation in Albany snagged the support of SUNY Chancellor Wharton opposition on the board of trustees dissolved and by a 12-2 vote the ban was lifted and UB began a hard march towards Division I.
With the victory, in 1986, the UB administration began a push they called "The Run to Division 1". This was not just a push to against the financial constraints that most universities face, this was a push against the SUNY system. Up until this point in time the system would not allow schools to provide financial assistance for athletes.
With the pieces in place for a move to division one and with UB playing in the first respectable, albeit small, on campus stadium in the teams history UB would field the best division three team to come out of Buffalo. the 1986 squad led by Jim Dunbar, Mike Laipple. The teams run would get up up to as high as 15th in national polls.
While Dunbar (College Div. Academic 1st Team) and Laipple (All ECAC) were the captains the star of the team O.D. Underwood would crush the single season rushing mark set by Lee Jones in the mid 60's. He also set records that year for Attempts, and one hundred yard games. For his efforts Underwood was named the Upstate NY Player of Year.
UB Award Winners during the Dando Era:
- 1981 Marty Barrett, QB AP Small College Honorable Mention
- 1982 Bernie Weber, K CoSIDA Small College 2nd Team
- 1983 John Bernard, DB Pizza Hut Div. III 1st Team
- 1983 Marty Barrett, QB Pizza Hut Div. III 2nd Team, AP Small College Honorable Mention
- 1983 Chris D’Amico, WR Pizza Hut Div. III 3rd Team
- 1984 Gerry Quinlivan, LB Kodak Small College 1st Team, AP Small College 1st Team, College Div., Academic 1st Team, Pizza Hut Div. III Honorable Mention
- 1984 Andy Hurley, DB Pizza Hut Div. III, 3rd Team
- 1985 Jim Dunbar, C College Div. Academic 1st Team, Pizza Hut Div. III Honorable Mention1985 Mike Laipple, LB AP Small College Honorable Mention, Pizza Hut Div. III Honorable Mention1985 Dave May, DT Pizza Hut Div. III Honorable Mention
- 1986 Jim Dunbar, C College Div. Academic 1st Team
- 1986 Doug Majeski, OT Football News Div. III 1st Team
- 1986 Steve Nappo, DB Pizza Hut Div. aIII 1st Team
- 1986 Mike Laipple, LB Pizza Hut Div. III 2nd Team
- 1986 O.D. Underwood, RB Pizza Hut Div. III 3rd Teamm AP Small College Hon. Mention
- 1987 Steve Wojciechowski, LB Kodak Small College 1st Team
- 1988 Jon Williams, DB Pizza Hut Div. III Honorable Mention
- 1978 Larry Rothman.
- 1982 Gary Brown, DT
- 1982 Pat Whitehead, RB
- 1982 Brian Wilson, OT
- 1983 Marty Barrett, QB, Upstate NY Player of Year
- 1983 Steve Armstrong, DE
- 1983 John Bernard, DB
- 1983 Chris D’Amico, WR
- 1983 Eric Pedley, OC
- 1983 Gerry Quinlivan, LB
- 1984 Chris D’Amico, WR
- 1984 Andy Hurley, DB
- 1984 Gerry Quinlivan, LB
- 1985 Bob Kirisits, OT
- 1985 Dave May, DT
- 1986 O.D. Underwood, RB, Upstate NY Player of Year
- 1986 Mike Laipple, LB
- 1989 Alan Bell, KR